Software is fundamental to advances in earth and environmental science. Scientific software is used throughout the scientific lifecycle, from initial data acquisition in sensor systems, to data management, quality assurance, data integration, analysis and synthetic modeling. Software touches every activity in science, and yet, it is largely invisible and unmanaged. Thus, many issues that impede science have become prevalent in scientific software, such as code complexity and opacity, lack of scalability, lack of openness and interoperability, lack of formal versioning, and lack of management of software evolution for sustainability.
In this project, our broadly representative steering committee will facilitate design workshops in which the broader community can envision and develop a strategic plan for an Institute for Sustainable Earth and Environmental Software (ISEES) that coordinates development and sustainable support of innovative and interoperable scientific software tools that can transform science at the intersection of earth, environmental, and life sciences. ISEES will advance the state of science software by engaging earth and environmental research communities to address the software barriers that most impede grand challenge earth science. The envisioned institute will enable researchers to collaboratively address the entire software lifecycle, from product conceptualization, to requirements analysis, design, development, testing, deployment, long-term support, and decommissioning. A robust workforce development program will sustain these software advances made through ISEES.